NO INTEGRITY, NO PROBLEM FOR OUR MPs
Mosebenzi Zwane, a key figure in the state capture scandal, retains his seat in Parliament despite his alleged involvement. While we appreciate the committee's response to our 2017 complaint, the insignificant fine imposed on Zwane—a mere five days' salary—is an insult to law-abiding citizens. OUTA believes Zwane should be behind bars, not in Parliament.
At OUTA, we have tirelessly pursued justice and accountability for Mosebenzi Zwane's alleged involvement in state capture. We tried several avenues, including a complaint to the committee in 2017, a submission to the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources in 2018, and a detailed referral to the National Prosecuting Authority in 2019.
OUTA’s referral included all Zwane’s alleged wrongdoing from the time he was appointed as MEC in the Free State, the Guptas generous sponsorship when Zwane took a gospel choir on tour to India, allegations on the R280 million Estina dairy project to his misrepresentation of Cabinet decisions and other Gupta-related allegations.
But yet again MPs have let us down, imposing a paltry fine of just five days' salary (less than R20,000) for Zwane’s acceptance of benefits from the Guptas, including a flight on their private jet. He was also suspended from parliamentary debates for one term, effectively enjoying a paid holiday of up to eight weeks. Zwane was also ordered to apologise to the National Assembly for the incorrect media statement he issued in defence of the Guptas while a member of an Inter-Ministerial Committee, and for the appointment of Gupta associates as his advisors.
The sanctions failed to address other serious allegations, such as Zwane's role in Gupta-influenced appointments, the release of mine rehabilitation funds for the Gupta-controlled Tegeta mine, and his untruthful statements to Parliament. It is clear that he holds little regard for these lenient sanctions, as demonstrated by his disrespectful absence on the day the National Assembly's approval of the sanctions and his expected apology.
South Africans should not tolerate individuals like Zwane occupying positions of power. The findings against him highlight a lack of integrity and ethical values among some parliamentarians, perpetuating the defence of state capture. South Africa deserves better.
To delve deeper into Zwane's transgressions and our unwavering pursuit of justice, click here to read the full story.
An OUTA explanation on Mosebenzi Zwane’s activities and our attempts to hold him to account, written in January 2020, is here.
OUTA’s complaint of October 2017 to the Joint Committee is here.
The report of the Joint Committee is here.